YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There are a lot of Halloween events going on in the Valley. One that is taking place Saturday is hoping to bring kids together for more than just fun.
The Youngstown Safe Zone, which is made up of community groups, is hosting a “safe” in-person Halloween skate night for kids. It’s something they haven’t had the chance to do since COVID-19 started.
“It is very hard. Everything is social media, everything is virtual nowadays. It is very hard to actually go out into the community and do what we want to do,” said organizer Mary Campbell.
On October 24, that changes. The group is hosting a Halloween community skate night at Youngstown Skate.
Kids up to 18 years old are welcome.
To keep it safe, COVID-19 guidelines will be in place. Everyone will have to wear masks while not skating. The video games will be off, and there are hand sanitizing stations all around.
“We will be taking all the kids temperatures before they enter the building – kids and parents. There is only 150 allowed in the building. If you come in and decide you want to go you can go but can’t come back in,” said co-organizer Sharon Vanderwort.
Even with the health and safety steps, organizers said it is important to have in-person interaction with the kids and their parents.
“It gives us the opportunity to network and outreach to the parents and the kids,” said Ayanna Walker with Leaders for Progress.
It may seem like just a community Halloween event, but the group wants it to be more than that. They’ve taken note of divides in the community, crime and the need for leadership. They say this is their way to provide that leadership and an outlet for kids.
“It’s building our community back up. We are trying to tell these kids that there are grown-ups out there that have your back. We are behind you 100%,” Campbell said.
With COVID-19 safety orders in place, they expect it will be the first of many in-person events for the kids.
“We’re not going to solve all the problems, but we can put a dent in them,” Walker said.